Recipe of the Week: Wheat-Free Classic Cheesecake

Having gluten sensitivity and the desire to become more health conscious, I started to feel like my options for baked goods were limited. That was until I discovered the book, “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis, which opened up an array of delicious foods: savoury and sweet that were accessible and healthy!

I have chosen to share one of my favourite treats: a classic cheesecake. This might not be something easily made on a regular basis, especially for students like yourselves; but it is a perfect treat for special occasions. The best part is that it is equally good frozen! Make a batch on a weekend, pop it in the freezer, and reheat whenever desired. This melt in your mouth, rich dessert is sure to fulfil your sweet tooth.


 

CRUST

1 1/2 cups ground pecans (or ground almonds/walnuts as a substitute)

1/12 tsp ground cinnamon

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar or honey

or the equivalent amount of stevia extract*

 

FILLING

16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar or honey

or the equivalent amount of stevia extract*

Dash of salt

3 large eggs

Juice of one small lemon and 1 tbsp grated lemon zest

2 tbsp vanilla extract

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
  2. To make the crust: Combine the ground pecans, sugar/sweetener, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, egg, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  3. Press the crumb mixture into the bottem and 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch pie pan.
  4. To make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar/sweetener, and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer (or hand blender), beat at low speed to blend. Add in the eggs, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust. I like to drizzle some melted dark chocolate and lightly swirl on top before baking. Bake until nearly firm in the center, about 50 minutes. Cool the cheesecake on a rack. Refrigerate to chill before serving.
  6.  Variations: The filling can be modified in dozens of ways. Try adding 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and topping with shaved dark chocolate. Want to celebrate spring? Add in berries, such as blueberries or strawberries. Keep in mind the natural sweetness of the fruits might require some modification to the amount of sweetener. You can also top with berries, mint leaves, and whipped cream.

 

* Stevia extract is a completely natural sweetener, extracted from the leaves of a plant. It is a healthy and natural sugar-substitute.


-Myra Farooq

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